Last month Prince Harry revealed how his brother William encouraged him to seek counselling as he struggled to come to terms with his mother’s death.
The 32-year-old said Prince William implored his younger sibling to get help after ‘shutting down all his emotions’ for nearly 20 years following Diana’s death.
But the prince, who was 12 years old when his mother died, admits that he ignored his grief during his teenage years, only addressing it when he was ‘on the verge of punching someone’ in later life.
Before that point, he endured two years of ‘total chaos’ when he became ‘a problem’ to himself – a period which included the infamous Nazi fancy dress and intimate photographs from a party in Las Vegas – but ‘did not know what was wrong’.
In a candid interview with The Telegraph in April, he said his grief, compounded with living in the public eye, had left him ‘close to a breakdown’, sparking anxiety during royal engagements and struggles in his personal life that he ‘didn’t know how to deal with’.
He explained: ‘I can safely say that losing my mum at the age of 12, and therefore shutting down all of my emotions for the last 20 years, has had a quite serious effect on not only my personal life but my work as well.
‘I have probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions when all sorts of grief and sort of lies and misconceptions and everything are coming to you from every angle.
‘My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help?’
Harry said he decided to ignore his sadness and instead throw himself into an adventurous and fun young life.
‘(I thought) it’s only going to make you sad, it’s not going to bring her back,’ he added. ‘So from an emotional side, I was like “right, don’t ever let your emotions be part of anything”.
‘So I was a typical 20, 25, 28-year-old running around going ‘life is great’, or ‘life is fine’ and that was exactly it.
‘And then (I) started to have a few conversations and actually all of a sudden, all of this grief that I have never processed started to come to the forefront and I was like, there is actually a lot of stuff here that I need to deal with.’
He added: ‘It was 20 years of not thinking about it and two years of total chaos.’
The prince revealed how his brother William had been a ‘huge support’ in battling his demons and that it was he who insisted it was ‘OK’ to talk to someone.
‘For me personally, my brother, you know, bless him, he was a huge support to me,’ he said.
‘He kept saying this is not right, this is not normal, you need to talk to (someone) about stuff, it’s OK.’
Harry has previously revealed how he is ‘sure’ Diana inspires the work that he is doing, and that he often thinks to himself: ‘All I want to do is make my mother proud.’
‘That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,’ he explained, adding: ‘When she died, there was a gaping hole, not just for us but also for a huge amount of people across the world.
‘If I can try to fill a very small part of that, then job done.’